Put Me In, Coach

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Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay

“Centerfield” is a classic rock song by John Fogerty, released in 1985 about someone telling the coach that they were ready to play, and in center field. It’s that fighting spirit that all coaches want to see.

I know it is about baseball, which I’m not that interested in, but I often use sports analogies when I’m writing to demonstrate my meaning.

We know that a good coach can bring out the best in their athletes and lead them to a winning season. A good coach has passion, can read their players, can encourage them and most of all, know the game. They need to be able to teach the players the mechanics and techniques that work the best, but at the same time encourage them to go beyond. At times, they also must be tough, and not afraid to crawl all up in someone’s sh*t if they aren’t pulling their weight.

Coaches aren’t limited to sports. They can be those rah-rah people around you, cheering you on during life victories. There are also professional life coaches, with formulas for success, who lead seminars and write books for self-help people.

I am beginning to think of myself as a life coach. It wasn’t something I aspired to, as my passion was always about design. Coaching was more of a calling born out of dealing with my own life issues and learning. I can say I am passionate about spirituality and metaphysics, having studied them for over 40 years. I have taken classes for developing psychic abilities and healing. As I got older and realized that my early years were having an impact on my choices and behavior patterns, I knew I needed to do something about them. I went to talk therapists, psychics and energy healers. They made a difference, but ultimately, I knew that the changes had to come from within me. Since I learn best through reading and research, I delved into the world of self-help. I practiced the behavior modification techniques often recommended, and the best one for me was to call out my inner child and mother her in the way that she didn’t get. That shifted a whole lot of the baggage I carried.

I was so impacted by my changes that I wanted to share with others. Whenever I have (and still do) encounter someone having difficulties, I reach out with personal experiences and suggestions for making changes. (Not being a medical professional, I don’t diagnose or attempt to treat those with severe issues.) I often feel guilty afterwards; who am I to tell someone how to run their life? But I have learned, and done this myself, people will hear what they want to hear and ignore the rest. Thus, no offense given, and none taken.

I’m not ready to take the step into professional coach. I still carry doubts about “lecturing” people on how to manage their life. I’m also concerned about being overwhelmed by the demands, so I keep reminding myself to take baby steps. Writing this blog is a baby step. I can tackle an issue, make suggestions and put them out there for people to accept or not. If I’m using this as a training ground, then I realize that I’m not really telling anyone what to do, just making recommendations and how-tos for making life better. Sort of like showing someone with basic cable what they could get if they sign up for the 250+ package. Woo-hoo!, because the biggest win in life is living a good life.

If there is a topic you would like me to address, for the good of one and all, then please comment back.

Or just say “put me in, Coach, I’m ready to change!”.

Mediation Meditation

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Yes, you read that correctly. So let’s take a look at the meaning.

Mediation uses a third party to resolve a dispute. Meditation helps you access your subconscious for insight, relaxation and ideas. For this purpose, consider that your conscious mind and body are in dispute about something you would like to accomplish. Your subconscious is the neutral party, because it holds all the skills, brilliant ideas, memories, knowledge and most of all, the neurological wiring to make sh*t happen. This part of your brain can tell your conscious mind and body that they can do this thing, whatever it is.

Let’s say you want to want to improve your golf score. Now, I know nothing about golf so if I don’t explain this correctly, forgive me and make your own mental correction. Every time you tee off, the ball sails off to the right. You’ve changed your stance, your grip and even your – ahem – balls and the damn thing continues to make a perfect arc. (There IS perfection in something.) So why not try meditation to improve your skills?

Find some time and a space where you can sit quietly for a few minutes. No phone, no music, just you and your thoughts. Close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly in and out. Feel the tension of your day slowly draining down from your head all the way through your body and out your feet. You will know that you have begun to relax when random thoughts start scrolling through your head. Don’t worry about them; most people think your mind should be clear. Not necessarily true, just don’t fixate on any particular one of them. Keep breathing until you don’t notice any of your surroundings, and your focus is somewhere in your forehead. This is when you can begin to access your subconscious.

Now visualize yourself setting up to tee off. Ask your subconscious how to make the ball go straight. See yourself making the swing and the ball going straight down the fairway. Now say to yourself “my mind and body hit the ball where I want it to go”. Repeat this several times so you train your brain to instruct your body what to do. Make this a practice and watch how your golf game changes. Who knows, you might even make Tiger a little worried.

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

You Want to be a Football Hero

quarterback-4363871_1920Football season is upon us and players are vying for first round position. All guts, no glory, as they say and you see many a young quarterback launching the ball for all it’s worth and hoping for the game-winning touchdown. Careers are set or lost on a weekly basis.

What if you had to live your life like the NFL? Sixteen chances to win and move on to the Super Bowl. A moment of glory to be immortalized in a statue and documented permanently. At least it gives former players something to do each week.

It may sound as though I am demeaning football. Not at all, I’m glued to the television each week to see what the Broncos are going to do. I cheer, cuss and throw popcorn at the screen trying to make my own touchdown. And usually not all that successful either. I confess to not knowing a whole lot about the game, but I just love the passion and athleticism. I can tell who is having a bad day and who is focused upon winning.

Winning isn’t everything. I’ve heard that saying too. Oh, but it is! It’s all in the personal view of what it means and the level to which it is taken. The Super Bowl is a huge deal, but so is threading a sewing needle when you can’t see for sh*t. Like me. Writing a page a day for a book is just as important as busting the ribbon when you cross the finish line. Winning at life is another saying, but who really knows what that means?

Our journey here is to grow our spirit, in order to grow Spirit, and experience giving and receiving love. Sounds rather simple, but everyone’s journey is complicated. If you compare it to a single football season, you aren’t totally sure of what you are going to get. You might know ahead of time which teams you are going to play and who is on the roster, but then it is a guessing game. Any single one of the players could be having a bad day due to illness or minor injury, and you know they usually play through most of that. That little bit could throw off the rhythm of the team. Just like at your workplace when the go-to person is out sick. It could also be later in the season and some of the players are sidelined with a more serious injury. Think about that if you are older and had made life plans of traveling or some such and your partner has become permanently disabled. You now have to re-strategize your game plan. Maybe your partner is okay with you traveling with a family member or best friend, while they stay home and enjoy their poker league. Just like in football it is all a matter of attitude and adjustment.

So you can still be a football hero.

Like Thunder and Lightning

thunderstorm-1768742_1920Last night a big thunderstorm rolled through the skies. A slightly lessened version of the “hurricane” of a month ago. Plenty of rain, lots of grumbling and a brilliant display of lightning. Mother Nature was kicking a$$.

Thunder and lightning are made up of electrical energy with enough power to knock out an electrical plant. Similarly, our bodies are made up of electromagnetic energy with enough [brain] power to run an electrical plant. I know, that is a rather vague comparison, but you get the idea – both have some sort of powerful energy.

If you consider that comparison, think about what you can do. You have brain, emotional and physical power and oftentimes you don’t even use all that you are capable of. If you focused and developed yourself to the equivalent power of lightning and thunder, you could set goals and accomplish them easily and quickly. Perhaps you are of a medical mind; you could find a non-invasive, non-symptomatic cure for cancer or any other debilitating disease. You could climb Mount Everest with the knowledge and skills to avoid risk. You could plant a garden that would feed a neighborhood each year. You could help someone avoid suicide and change their life. You could do work that you love and supported what you need. Your relationships would thrive. If you could change your life, you could change the world.

Like thunder and lightning, it’s not even a little frightening.

Breaking It

keyboard-393838_1920I’ve taken a short break from blogging. It wasn’t intentional, just too many things going on that kept me out of creative thinking. I don’t lament the time lost, because sometimes circumstances work in our favor to give us a break.

Taking a break from anything can be healthy. If it is physical exercise, you give your body a chance to rest and recover. If it is mental activity, such as studying or work logic, you give your brain a chance to reset and balance. Taking a creative break does the same thing from the opposite side.

A break is a temporary, short-time-frame rest. A long-term break may be a sign of something bigger like burnout. Lacking desire or interest in something could be that it truly is no longer relevant in your life, however, if the lack of desire or interest is widespread it can be a sign of depression.

Depression is a treatable disease. There are many resources and methods that are readily available. Don’t allow this to overcome your life when there is help.

A break can be as simple as a short nap. Taking a walk is a nice break when you have been sitting awhile. Reading a book, listening to music, playing with a pet or child, fixing a cup of tea or coffee, having a healthy snack and especially meditation are various forms of relaxation. The important thing is to do the opposite of what you have been doing.

Just don’t break anything.

Eight Legs A Week

spider-303580_1280I heard on the news that the annual tarantula migration has started in southeastern Colorado. Thousands (yep, THOUSANDS) of hairy, horny, 10-year-old, male gigantic spiders are marching their way into the state. They are cruising for chick spiders. That is just seriously gross. Like total arachna-geddon.

No, I will not be going to see them. Not now, not in this lifetime, not on this planet, not ever, ever, ever. Rather adamant about that, aren’t I. It’s rather easy to turn a spider into a tarantula, err, make a mountain out of a molehill. How often do you make a problem bigger than it is?

These days, the world moves fast. Technology is great, but we expect everything immediately. Demands grow, deadlines were yesterday, and anxiety rules the day. Eight days – ahem – scuttle faster than that arachnid after a mate.

The spider march serves to remind us that in nature, things take their time. The spider knows when it is time to make the trek, maybe his hairy little b*lls grow as a reminder. Do spiders even have them? And why do I care? Eww. They march on at their spider pace, blissfully unaware that some monster truck could mow down half their army in less than a minute. Less competition for the girls, I suppose. They know what they are after and they keep going. Somewhere in the grasslands, the ladies are lounging, waiting for these determined fellows. They do the tarantella (it is a dance!) and a few thousand eggs are laid. No, I’m not writing this while drunk. Spidies make me crazy.

The point that I’m attempting to make is that things will happen as they should and in their own time. We can turn them into a tarantula, freak out and f*ck things up unnecessarily. Take your time, breathe and don’t swat the bug. Everything will work out.

In eight days. More or less.

Did I just see a spider?! Aaackkk!

Ad Infinitum

infinity-584674_1920If you take the number 8 and turn it on its side, you have the symbol of infinity. It can also mean abundance. Today is 8/8, a double dose of abundance. Jackpot!

What does abundance mean to you? Most people think of money or food, but it can mean anything including people. Whether you have it or not depends upon your belief system. Some belief systems almost demand you live a life of poverty. Others an excess to the point of waste. I think it is all a matter of opinion and nothing to get worked up over. After all, it is a choice of what you believe, whether it is consciously or not.

Abundance is there for everyone, regardless of belief or choice. Look around you and see what is abundant. It can be material things: homes, cars, clothing, toys, tech items and so on. It can be life-sustaining things: food, water, medicine. And what we don’t think of as abundance, non-material things: relationships, caring, love, support, weather, generosity, and all these other gifts.

Do you feel abundant? Why not? The world is filled with everything you need to have a fun and joyful life, so why aren’t you partaking of Spirit’s bounty for you? Too often it is just our beliefs that block us from receiving good things, things to sustain us, things to enjoy. Denying ourselves of what we need is not necessary. I think it might make Spirit a little sad that we wouldn’t accept food, shelter or love from another.

Today, being 8/8, holds powerful energy. It is a good day for opening yourself to receiving what you need to make your life better. Now you may need to take some action steps. Not all of Spirit’s gifts magically appear the minute you ask. It might mean getting a better job that comes with more income. It might mean taking a chance on that cute single neighbor who waves at you from across the street. It might mean accepting the offer of a bag of groceries from a stranger. Sometimes these gifts appear and we don’t see them for what they are. A gift, just for you. To show you that life is abundant.

Because Spirit’s gifts are infinite.

The Importance of Doing Nothing

window-view-1081788_1920Do this, do that, go here, pick up that, cook, clean, eat, wash and keeping running. Don’t you just wish you could have five damn minutes to yourself?

Why not?

We always think we need a day off, or a vacation, to take time to relax and recharge. And end up packing in so many activities we end up more tired than we started. So why not just give yourself a little treat every day.

Five minutes, is all.

Five minutes where you just sit and do absolutely nothing. No thinking, no checking your phone, no making lists or any other damn thing. Just sitting and breathing.

Oh sure, you say, my mind fills up with all the stuff I need to do. So. It will all still be there five minutes from now. Just try it. Put down your phone and sit. Well, set the timer on your phone if you need to, but then set it down. Now close your eyes and breathe. Let all those busy thoughts just scroll through your head like movie credits. Don’t focus on any one of them. Maybe focus on your breathing, in-out, in-out. You may even notice your heart rate slowing down. Ah, peace.

Try doing this at least once a day. Then do it when you are feeling the most stressed. You’ll find that your rapid thoughts will slow down and formulate into action steps. Whatever problem you were struggling with might get resolved.

All because instead of doing something, you did nothing. Feel better now?

Just Peachy

peachesIt is Palisade Peach time in Colorado. If you have never had one, you are missing out on one of life’s greatest treats. Rumor has it that they are better than Georgia peaches. Sorry GA.

Mother Nature graciously gifts us with this annual bounty of flavorful goodness, reminding us of life’s true sweetness. One bite of these babies puts bliss upon your tongue and will fill you up without longing for anything beyond. This is true sweet, not sugar, not chemical substitutes, not some lab-cooked corn laden concoction that gets you addicted with the first taste.

Our Dear Mother is telling us to reach for Her blessings of fruit when we need a pick-me-up from life. If you are having a bad day or a series of bad days, put down the soda, the alcohol or any other substance that will only give you a temporary lift and leave behind unseen damage. She’s not too happy about genetic modification either, natural fruit is always available even if it needs to be shipped from another country.

When you cut them open, most fruit has a visible seed. Although you might not have the climate to grow that type of fruit, a seed is available to continue with your own harvest. Mother Nature loves renewables. A seed is also a reminder to plant ideas. When you take time to savor a piece of fruit, the pleasure helps you to relax and you might get creative thoughts. Use those thoughts to plant your own seed so when it’s harvest time, it will be Just Peachy.

Losing My Religion

golden-1321410_1280Uh-oh, she’s going to write about THAT?! Yes. I. Am. It shouldn’t be any more of a heated topic than, say, chili cheese fries. Neither of which are very appetizing.

I was raised in a religion-oriented household. We went to services, gave money and followed the doctrine. I dutifully went to religious education, which was much more about the rules than about God. When I got older, I asked “why can’t I just talk to God?” Then I really learned about not disobeying rules.

There is nothing wrong with rules in general, especially those about keeping us safe. Clean water, speed limits, fences and the like. Because some people wear their underwear too tight so they are pissy and crabby all day, and then shoot a couple of people standing next to them. And let’s face it, some people are just plain dumb.

Anyway, the religious rules I learned didn’t make sense to me. What does not eating meat on Friday have to do with God? I mean really, God made cows, so why shouldn’t we eat them? (Kid logic) So when I was about 15, I decided to learn about ALL the rules. I went to the local library, which thankfully had a vast variety of books on every subject, and buried myself in the religious stacks. I studied Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Taoism, Hinduism and so on. When I finished with that, Pagan, Wiccan, Shamans and more. Worked my way through metaphysical studies. That was a lot books. Do you know what I discovered?

Almost every one of them was a bunch of rules written by (mostly) men in silly outfits that dictated when, where and what to believe in, and very little about a non-human supreme being.

People get all worked up about this. Okay, but why is that any different than say, the NFL? That’s a bunch of rules written by men in silly outfits that dictate when, where and what to believe in. And may I remind you that most of the games are played on Sunday. How many times have you or someone you know says “I pray to God that the [team name] win today!” The same could be said about government, the food industry, every sports franchise, and your job. We’ve turned something that matters into power and control, and have totally forgotten the real purpose which is to have meaning in our life.

Religion is bigger than rules. It is bigger than silly outfits. It is bigger than beef or pork. It is bigger than we can imagine. So how did we f*ck this up so badly?

Power and control are all based in fear, primarily the perceived loss of something from someone else’s doing. We fear being abandoned. We fear being poor or without resources. We fear pain and harm. We fear not being loved. Deeper than that is the fear of abandonment. Abandonment fears come with being human. As soon as we were born, separation from God occurred. And now we make up rules and sh*t to find our way back; before someone else gets there first.

That is not the God I know.

I refer to God-and-all-the-other-names as The Universe. For me, this is a massive energy source larger than we can imagine. There is no specific name, no gender, no race, no color, no language barrier and most of all no destruction and lightning bolts. The (God) Universe that I believe in is absolutely pure and loving of us no matter what we do. I think the Universe is just so damn happy that we agreed to be human in order to learn what physical existence is all about, and certainly has no plans to wipe us out. What would be gained by that? Just because we can act like idiots and shoot each other or wipe out rain forests and other dumb things, doesn’t mean that the Universe is angry.

Yes, you can talk to the Universe directly without some dork in a silly outfit running interference. The Universe is delighted when you start the day with “good morning” and express gratitude for something. The Universe gets really excited if you say “I’m having a rough day, will you help me?” And Oh MY, does the help arrive. In ways that you, with your pea brain, can’t even dream up, especially when you don’t dictate how you want that help.

I agree that religion can be a good thing for people. Some really do like the silly rituals and fish on Fridays. Some like gathering together in a beautiful building. Just remember that the most important thing of all is your direct connection with the Universe, because if someone tells you that’s not allowed then you better be losing your religion.